Many ACC squads looking for QBs
Sure, recruiting is about brining in fresh talent. However, the process also emphasizes finding the right players that can allow teams to improve upon their weaknesses. Here's a look at some of the major holes ACC squads will look to fill on the recruiting trail in 2010.
Although the suspension (academic reasons) and subsequent transfer of QB Dominique Davis made waves in Chestnut Hill this summer, the Eagles' long-term prospects at the position aren't as bleak as they are for 2009. They signed Michael Marscovetra (Oakland Hills, N.J./Indian Hills High) this year and they have received a verbal commitment from Chase Rettig (Sierra Madre, Calif./San Clemente High) for next year. Now they need to get their young quarterbacks help at receiver. Why? Rich Gunnell, Justin Jarvis and Clarence Megwa are all in their final years of eligibility, while Ifeanyi Momah has just one more year of eligibility. So even though redshirt freshman Clyde Lee has had a strong offseason, addressing the receiver position is still the top priority. The Eagles have done well in addressing this need in the 2010 recruiting cycle, having gained commitments from wideouts Alex Amidon (Lakeville, Conn./Hotchkiss School) and Jim McCaffrey (Cambridge, Mass./Buckingham Browne & Nichols).
Austin Giles and Jim Ramella both move on at the end of the year, while Alex Albright, who received a medical redshirt last year, and Brad Newman have just two years of eligibility left.
Starter Matt Tennant is a redshirt senior who could very well play on Sundays next year, and backup Thomas Claiborne is a redshirt junior who appears to be a better fit at guard. Making matters worse, Boston College failed to address this position in 2009.
Crezdon Butler and Chris Chancellor are both seniors, while their backups, Marcus Gilchrist and Byron Maxwell, are both juniors, so Clemson clearly needs to get younger and deeper here. The Tigers, however, do have a commitment from Darius Robinson (Atlanta/Westlake), the No. 17 corner in the 2010 class.
True sophomore Brandon Thompson has the potential to be an excellent interior run stuffer, and there are no seniors listed on the team's spring depth chart, so why is this a need? There are three juniors listed among the top five, and Clemson failed to address this position last year. Addressing it now would give the Tigers time to acclimate their prospects before asking them to play substantial roles in 2010.
True freshman J.K. Jay (Greenville, S.C./Christ Church Episcopal High) is talented enough to push redshirt freshman Landon Walker, who started 10 games at right tackle last year, for playing time. As a result, this might not appear to be a top-three need at first glance. However, the Tigers still need to infuse youth here. The reason is LOT Chris Hairston is a redshirt junior, and backup Jamarcus Grant and reserve Cory Lambert are both redshirt seniors. The good news for Clemson fans is that it has already received verbal commitments from offensive tackle prospects Kalon Davis (Chester, S.C./Chester) and Reid Webster (Woodstock, Ga./Etowah) in their 2010 class.
Redshirt sophomore Charlie Hatch appears to have a bright future ahead of him, and the Blue Devils did well to sign John Drew (Columbus, Ga./Northside) in their 2009 class. They appear to be the heir apparent to Vince Oghobaase and Kinney Rucker who are both seniors. That said, true freshman Sydney Sarmiento (265 pounds) and redshirt freshman Curtis Hazelton (260 pounds) are both undersized, and arguably better fits at defensive end. That's reason for concern, considering that only one ACC team gave up more rushing yards per game than Duke last year. Adding some girth to the middle of the defensive line should bolster the run defense and allow Sarmiento and/or Hazelton to move to end, where Duke also needs to get younger. Middle linebacker
Starter Vincent Rey is a senior, and he's backed up by two juniors. So even though the Blue Devils signed true freshman Austin Gamble (Weston, Fla./Cypress Bay) in their 2009 class, they would be wise to add competition and depth here.
Duke signed Sean Renfree (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons High School (N.Y.)) in 2008 and Sean Schroeder (Dana Point, Calif./Dana Hills) in 2009. However, they are the only two quarterbacks on the roster outside of senior Thaddeus Lewis. With that in mind, the Blue Devils would be wise to add depth and competition. The good news for Duke's fans is the Blue Devils are clearly targeting the position. They have already received verbal commitments from Anthony Boone (Charlotte, N.C./Weddington) and Brandon Connette (Corona, Calif./Santiago).
Despite mixed results on the field by its standards, Florida State continues to recruit well. The Seminoles landed the 12th-best recruiting class in 2008 and the 8th-best recruiting class in 2009. It's important to keep that in mind when considering their "needs" heading into the 2010 season. Quarterback
Florida State signed E.J. Manuel (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside) in 2008 and Will Secord (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland) in 2009, but we think the Seminoles will continue to address the position. Why? Starter Christian Ponder is a redshirt junior. Signing one or more quarterbacks this year should give them a year to learn the system so they are in position to compete for the starting role when Ponder moves on. In addition, the Seminoles have done an excellent job of adding talent at receiver over the course of the past two years, and they need to insure their efforts there aren't wasted by adding talent and depth at quarterback.
The Seminoles got the No. 1 defensive tackle prospect in the country when they signed Jacobbi McDaniel (Greenville, Fla./Madison County) this year. That said, there's more work to be done; Justin Mincey, Kendrick Stewart and Budd Thacker are all seniors. In addition, 2008 signings Anthony Hill and Anthony McCloud are no longer with the program.
Starter Marcus Sims and backup Seddrick Holloway are both seniors. The Seminoles could address this need by taking a tight end or even moving one to fullback. If they move a tight end, they should look to sign one instead of a fullback.
Dan Voss is a senior and Sean Bradford is a junior. While 2008 signing Nick McRae (Dublin, Ga./Dublin) can play center, he is listed at guard and he's arguably a better fit there than he is at center in this scheme. If Georgia Tech moves McRae to center, getting help at offensive guard will become the bigger priority.
J.C. Lanier (Twin City, Ga./Emanuel County Institute), a 334-pound 2009 signing, has the potential to develop into an effective interior run stuffer, but he's the only defensive tackle of note the Yellow Jackets have signed over the course of the past two years. Meanwhile, the top six on the preseason depth chart includes three redshirt sophomores, a redshirt junior and a redshirt senior.
The Yellow Jackets signed Izaan Cross (Flowery Branch, Ga.), Euclid Cummings (Roswell, Ga./Centennial) and Emanuel Dieke (College Park, Ga./North Clayton) in 2009. On the other hand, there's no guarantee all three will pan out, and four of the top six defensive ends listed on the preseason depth chart are juniors. As a result, continuing to target the defensive end position makes sense.
The Terrapins signed C.J. Brown (Cranberry, Pa./Seneca Valley) and Danny O'Brien (Kernersville, N.C./Forsyth) this year, but look for them to continue to target this position. After all, they need to continue to add talent and competition, because Chris Turner is a senior and backup Jamarr Robinson is a redshirt sophomore who has yet to attempt a pass in a game. Secondary
2009 signings Dexter McDougle (Stafford, Va.) and Avery Graham (Clarksburg, Md.) are versatile enough to line up at safety and/or corner. In addition, Maryland signed CB Cameron Chism (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara) in 2008, CB Travis Hawkins (Gaithersburg, Md./Quince Orchard) in 2009 and DS Eric Franklin (Baltimore/Archbishop Curley) in 2009. So why is the secondary still a need? Three of the top seven corners listed on the preseason depth chart are seniors, and two are juniors, while starting safeties Terrell Skinner and Jamari McCollough are both seniors. In addition, reserve FS Antwine Perez is a junior.
Starter Phil Costa is a senior and backup Danny Edwards is a junior, so even though the Terrapins signed Bennett Fulper (Gretna, Va.) as part of their 2009 class, they need to target centers again this year.
While Tyler Horn appears to be the heir apparent to senior A.J. Trump at center, he's unproven, so Miami needs to add a center capable of stepping into the backup role and pushing Horn for playing time as early as next year.
The Hurricanes signed Brandon Washington (Miami/ Northwestern) in 2008, and he enrolled at Miami after spending last year at Milford Academy. They also signed Jared Wheeler (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage High School) this year. On the other hand, Orlando Franklin, Ian Symonette and Joel Figueroa are all juniors, so the Hurricanes need to get younger and deeper here. Defensive tackle
Miami signed Marcus Forston (Miami/Northwestern), Jeremy Lewis (West Palm Beach, Fla./Palm Beach Lakes) and Micanor Regis (Belle Glade, Fla./Pahokee) in 2008. However, they failed to sign a defensive tackle in 2009, and Joe Joseph is a senior, while both Allen Bailey and Josh Holmes are juniors. Adding depth here makes sense as a result, and Hurricane fans should be pleased to hear the school has received verbal commitments from two of the top ten defensive tackle prospects in the 2010 class.
The Tar Heels landed Jared McAdoo (Chapel Hill, N.C.) in 2009, but he's the only defensive tackle of note that they've signed the past two years, and that's reason for concern. Why? Cam Thomas and Aleric Mullins are seniors, while Marvin Austin and Darrius Massenburg are both juniors.
North Carolina added three safeties in 2009 and one in 2008, but there's more work to do here. The top three strong safeties listed on the preseason depth chart are all juniors, as is FS Deunta Williams, and his backup Melvin Williams is a senior.
North Carolina did well to sign Jamal Womble (Sierra Vista, Ariz./Buena) in 2008, and they added Hunter Furr (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) this year. However, Shaun Draughn, Ryan Houston and Johnny White are all juniors.
The Wolfpack have tried to address this position each of the past two years, signing a total of seven defensive tackles during that span. The problem is only two of those signings are currently on the roster. Meanwhile, starters LeRoy Burgess and Alan-Michael Cash are seniors, while reserve Natanu Mageo is a junior. Wide receiver
Of the 12 receivers listed on North Carolina State's roster, six are juniors and two are seniors. That's not very encouraging, considering that the Wolfpack have added just two receivers over the course of the past two years. They are sophomore T.J. Graham (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield) and true freshman Quintin Payton Anderson, S.C./Hanna ). Running back
North Carolina State added James Washington (Orlando, Fla./Boone) and Morgan Alexander (Cartersville, Ga.) in its 2008 class. There's also a lot to like about the upside of 2008 signing Brandon Barnes (Bunn, N.C.). That said, they need to continue to target running backs, because Jamelle Eugene and Toney Baker are both seniors, while Curtis Underwood is a junior.
Virginia finished last year 10th in the ACC in rushing yards allowed per game, so it clearly needs to bolster the run defense. While redshirt sophomore Nick Jenkins and Nate Collins are adequate stopgaps, they lack prototypical size for a nose tackle. In fact, Collins is arguably a better fit at end, and 245-pound reserve John-Kevin Dolce is strictly a situational run stuffer. So even though the Cavaliers signed 310-pound Klinton Ruff (Norfolk, Va./Norview) in 2008 they need to continue to add depth and, more importantly, girth here.
Rashawn Jackson is a senior, and sophomore Curt Orshoski is a sophomore. Virginia could address this need by taking a tight end or even moving one to fullback. If they move a tight end, they should look to sign one instead of a fullback.
Jameel Sewell and QB/CB Vic Hall are both seniors while Marc Verica is a junior. Virginia did sign Riko Smalls (Plano, Texas/Plano East) in 2008 and Ross Metheny (Stephens City, Va./Sherando) in 2009. However, redshirt sophomore Brendan Lane and redshirt freshman Kyle McCartin are both walk-ons, so infusing talent and depth here makes sense.
The only new addition at rover this year is walk-on Martin Scales, and that's a cause for concern, because Dorian Porch and Matt Reidy are both seniors while Davon Morgan is a junior.
2008 signing Randall Dunn (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) is expected to line up at tight end after lining up at receiver last year. The Hokies also signed Eric Martin (Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton), but there is still a lot of work to do here. Out of the seven tight ends listed on the roster, two are seniors and three are juniors.
Sophomore Justin Myer appears to be the heir apparent at place-kicker, but PT Brent Bowden is a senior, and backup Brian Saunders is a junior. Considering the pride Virginia Tech takes in its special-teams play, targeting a punter capable of pushing Saunders for playing time next year makes sense.
Redshirt sophomore Doug Weaver appears looks primed to replace senior Joe Birdsong at right tackle but who will replace senior Chris DeGeare at left tackle? Redshirt sophomore Dennis Godfrey is a former defensive tackle who missed four games with a knee injury last year. While Wake Forest signed an offensive tackle each of the past two years, there is to guarantee either will pan out. Finally, the Demon Deacons clearly need to improve their pass protection after finishing 10th in sacks allowed in the ACC last year, especially with two young quarterbacks battling for the starting job in 2010. Adding one or more bookends who can help in that area makes a great deal of sense.
Wake Forest signed Ramon Booi out of Nease High School (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) in 2008 and went back to Nease to get Frank Souza in 2009. However, the Demon Deacons still need to make this their top priority, because three of the top four defensive tackles on their roster are seniors.
Starter Riley Skinner and backup Ryan McManus are both seniors. While 2008 signing Ted Stachitas (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla./Nease) is expected to battle redshirt sophomore Skylar Jones for the starting role next year, Wake Forest needs to add depth and insurance.
Steve Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college players for Scouts Inc.